Now that the 2014/2015 season is done and dusted, it is time to say goodbye to Chelsea and Premier League legend Frank Lampard (for real this time). He may have finished his Premier League career in a slightly different shade of blue to what we have become accustomed to, but he is one of the most loyal, respected, humble and talented footballers of his generation.
The midfielder has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success both individually and with Chelsea over the 13 years he enjoyed there, and he also enjoyed a successful loan spell at Manchester City which proved that he still has what it takes at 36 years old. Prior to this, Lampard began his career at West Ham and played a key role in helping them to their highest ever finish. He has also been a key player in the England squad over the years, and although the team has not enjoyed much success, Lampard has proven his abilities at all the major tournaments and held his own against the best in the world.
It will be strange not having Lampard in the Premier League next season, and regardless of where your loyalties are, his incredible intelligence, skill, hard work and friendly personality will be missed. He now begins a new chapter in his football career, which will see him line up for New York City FC where he will surely dazzle and inspire those lucky enough to see him play.
Here are 10 interesting facts about one of the greatest midfielders the Premier League has seen, Frank Lampard.
He is a product of the West Ham academy
Lampard’s long and successful career began at West Ham United (where his father played), after joining the youth team in 1994. A year later he signed his first professional contract, and then went on loan to Swansea where he made 9 appearances and scored his 1st career goal. He broke into the West Ham starting 11 in the 1996/1997 season, but a broken leg would end his campaign early. He impressed the following season and scored his first hat-trick, and in the 1998/1999 season he was a key player and helped The Hammers to their highest ever Premier League finish (5th).
Harry Redknapp (left) and Frank Lampard Snr during their time in charge of West Ham Photo: GETTY IMAGES
He comes from a footballing family
Frank’s father, Frank Lampard Sr, used to play for West Ham and was their assistant manager between 1994 and 2001 (when Frank Jr joined the club). In addition, Harry Redknapp is Lampard’s uncle and the 2 have remained close over the years, which also makes Jamie Redknapp a cousin of Frank’s.
He has a fiancée, Christine Bleakley, and 2 daughters from a previous relationship
Lampard has been with his fiancée, presenter Christine Bleakley, since 2009. Prior to this, he was engaged to Spanish model Elen Rivas. With Elen, Frank had 2 daughters called Luna (2005) and Isla (2007).
He is 1 of 9 players to reach 100 caps for England
Lampard retired from international football in August of 2014, stepping away with an impressive 106 caps. He is just 1 of 9 players to have 100 caps+ for England, and in his international career he has been hugely valuable for the team. His debut came in October 1999, and over the years he contributed an important 29 goals for the squad. He netted 3 goals in 4 games in Euro 2004, earning him a spot in the Team of the Tournament. In the 2010 World Cup, Lampard famously had a goal wrongly disallowed which led to England being knocked out by Germany (this helped pave the way for the introduction of goal-line technology). He has now retired as England’s highest scoring midfielder and their most prolific penalty taker.
He has dozens of personal accolades
Lampard is famous for being a complete team player, and this has helped him to get plenty of individual accolades throughout his career. These include FIFA Player of the Year Silver Award, Ballon d’Or Silver Award, PFA Fans’ Player of the Year, FWA Footballer of the Year, 2 Premier League Player of the Season awards, 5 PFA Team of the Year selections, 2 England Player of the Year awards and plenty more.
He scored 8 goals in 38 appearances for Manchester City
It came as quite a shock to the Premier League when it was announced that Lampard would be joining Manchester City in what was initially supposed to be a 6 month loan spell, and particularly for Chelsea fans. Lampard proved to be a key figure for the club this season, despite the fact that they failed to defend their title and lost out to Frank’s former club. He made 38 appearances in all competitions for Man City, and he also chipped in 8 goals too. This included a goal against his former employers to earn Man City a point in what seemed like a perfectly scripted story. Being a class act, Lampard did not celebrate the goal and left the pitch with both sets of fans chanting his name,
He has an IQ of 150
When you watch Frank Lampard on the pitch, it is clear that he is a highly intelligent player and reads the game well. It is not just his football IQ which is high however, as he also recorded an impressive IQ score of 150 during his time at Chelsea, recoding one of the highest set of marks ever recorded by the company carrying out the tests.
He is Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer
Lampard enjoyed 13 years at Stamford Bridge and played an integral role in helping them to become the force they are today. He made a total of 648 appearances for the Blues, and in this time he bagged a whopping 211 goals in all competitions. This puts him top of Chelsea’s all-time goalscorers list, where he looks set to remain for a very long time. This is particularly impressive seeing as Lampard is a midfielder, plus he is much, much more than just a goalscorer.
He has scored more goals from midfield than any other player in Premier League history.
Throughout his career, Lampard has proven to be a deadly goalscorer. He reads the game fantastically well, with many of his goals as a result of his trademark well timed runs into the box. He also has a fantastic long range shot on him and has scored dozens of powerful strikes from outside the box. There are few players better from free kicks and penalties, and his ability to score in these different ways has made him the top scoring midfielder in Premier League history. He is 4th on the all-time list with 177 Premier League goals.
He lifted 13 trophies in 13 years at Chelsea.
Chelsea have become an elite team in the Premier League in recent times, and the reliability of Frank Lampard is a big reason why. During his 13 years there, he helped the team to win an impressive 13 trophies. This includes 3 Premier League titles, 4 F.A Cups, 2 League Cups, 2 Community Shields, 1 Europa League and 1 UEFA Champions League.